Monday, March 17, 2008

Spring approaches

Winter weather has returned to western Oregon, but there are plenty of signs that spring is on its way.

Throughout the neighborhood, ornamental shrubs and trees are flowering, adding a colorful contrast to the gray sky.

Some flowers are bright and puffy and others, like these, are more subtle.

Though some bushtits have paired up and begun nest construction, many remain in large flocks that pass through the trees, probing the flowers for insects, pollen, or nectar. In addition to bushtits, the flowering trees have been full of goldfinches (American and lesser), yellow-rumped warblers, and house finches, Like the flowers, the American goldfinches and yellow-rumps are brightening by the day.

The tulip trees have giant buds that are beginning to open. Soon, the petals of the alien-like flowers will be ready to pop.

In the forests, trilliums are blooming, while salmon berry leaves are emerging from their buds. As the days lengthen it gets harder to stay in the apartment and finish my work.

Happy Saint Patty's Day!

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